The Riddle Song

Traditional

Audio

This example of "The Riddle Song" is performed by Mary Smith
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

This particular version is said to be from the Kentucky Mountains, but a much earlier version is found in a 15th century manuscript. The FJ Child collection has another version as #46, Peri-miri-dictum-Domini.

I gave my love a cherry that has no stone,
I gave my love a chicken that has no bone,
I gave my love a ring that has no end,
I gave my love a baby with no crying.

How can there be a cherry that has no stone?
How can there be a chicken that has no bone?
How can there be a ring that has no end?
How can there be a baby with no crying?

A cherry, when it's blooming, it has no stone,
A chicken when it's pipping, it has no bone,
A ring when it's rolling, it has no end,
A baby when it's sleeping, has no cryin'.